#Bookreview – The War of the Worlds by HG Wells

book reviews

What Amazon says

“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own.” Thus begins one of the most terrifying and morally prescient science fiction novels ever penned. Beginning with a series of strange flashes in the distant night sky, the Martian attack initially causes little concern on Earth. Then the destruction erupts—ten massive aliens roam England and destroy with heat rays everything in their path. Very soon humankind finds itself on the brink of extinction. H. G. Wells raises questions of mortality, man’s place in nature, and the evil lurking in the technological future—questions that remain urgently relevant in the twenty-first century.

My review

The War of the Worlds is an amazing book and through reading the book, as opposed to watching the movie, you get to appreciate HG Wells incredibly progressive understanding of philosophy and how human societies work. For me, these insights were the most outstanding feature of this intriguing science fiction story and provide food for thought about how people could evolve if our species focuses only on mathematical and scientific progress and moves away from creativity and emotion as the Martians are depicted to have done.

The narrator of this story is a journalist living an ordinary life in an ordinary English town. He happens to be good friends with an astrologer named Ogilvy and, due to this friendship, chances to witness an extraordinary sequence of explosions of gas on the planet, Mars. Ogilvy attaches not importance to this strange occurrence and reassures the narrator that there is very little chance of intelligent life on Mars.

A few days later a meteorite hits the common near to where the narrator lives on Maybury Hill. Ogilvy and the narrator investigate the pit created by the meteorite and suspect that it is unusual due to it being cylindrical in shape and made of metal. This event does not, however, attract much attention and only a small gathering of curious bystanders is present when the cylinder opens and the Martians are revealed in all their astonishing ugliness and clumsiness. Ogilvy is still convinced the Martians pose no threat to man as they are hampered so significantly by the greater gravitational forces present on Earth. He underestimates the advanced intelligence of the Martians and can’t imagine a being that is so highly evolved it has replaced its physical body with machinery making them entirely impervious to the forces of nature, or so they think.

Ogilvy becomes a victim of the Martians first demonstration of their military superiority and the narrator soon discovers that he is entirely incorrect in everything he surmised about Mars and the Martians. The war against the alien invaders begins and all of the weapons created by men are quickly and easily overcome by the Martians.

The story is told from the point of view of the narrator, who is present from when the Martians first arrive on Earth, and from that of his brother, who is living in London when the alien invaders attack the city.

Aside for the intriguing ideas about the nature and psychology of the Martian invaders, there are also some through provoking scenes featuring the narrator and a pastor which cannot come to terms with the demise of mankind at the hands of the Martians.

An excellent book for readers who are interesting in philosophy, psychology and science fiction.

Purchase The War of the Worlds

20 thoughts on “#Bookreview – The War of the Worlds by HG Wells

  1. Although I’ve never read the book, when I read your opening paragraph I heard Richard Burton’s voice in my head, straight out of the stunning War of the Worlds – Jeff Wayne’s The Musical. God I love that album. A stunning piece of work that shows how enduring HG Wells original masterpiece was/is.

    Liked by 1 person

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